What is the financial value of our trees?


Sheffield’s trees are greatly admired and we love living with them, but if you are up against cold-hearted organisations you need arguments they will understand.

The Horticulture Week Journal has published a fascinating article explaining that London’s trees are worth £6bn to the community, saving the city £276m each year in managing storm water and removing atmospheric pollution. A simple comparison of population indicates that Sheffield’s trees are an asset worth around £500m (cost of replacement), saving us around £42m a year.

So that’s an 8.4% return on investment, fantastic value. Chopping down healthy trees is a bit like a factory scrapping a perfectly good and reliable machine that has years of useful life ahead, and replacing it with an untested one that may fall apart in the first year and will take 20 years or more before it is working productively.

In reality, Sheffield probably has more trees per head than London so the true numbers may be higher. And there are a number of other ways to calculate cash values, but they all point in the same general direction -our mature trees are very valuable and replacing them is not a trivial matter.

Of course that’s just one aspect of tree value, for example there’s a lot of new evidence that street trees bring big health benefits, and the financial value to the NHS and us might be much higher than the benefits given here. Read more about health benefits here.

You can read the whole article here